1. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices and stack between two paper towels. Place the stack between two plates and weight the top plate with a heavy pot or cast-iron skillet.
2. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. (Image 1)
3. Bring a small pan with 2 c. water to a simmer and add the shiitakes to it. (Image 2)
4. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let the shiitakes soak in the water for 15 minutes.
5. Bring the carrots and broth to a boil in a large pot. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 9 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, remove the shiitakes from the soaking water. Strain the water into the carrots and broth.
7. Slice the shiitakes into thin strips and add to the pot. (Image 3)
8. Add the bok choy and pepper to the pot and cook for about 4 minutes.
9. Cut the tofu into small cubes. (Image 4)
10. Take 1/2 c. of the broth and mix it in a separate bowl with the miso, until smooth. Add this mixture back to the pot along with the tofu and reduce the heat to medium-low.
11. Cook for another 3 minutes and then serve, garnished with the green onion, sesame oil and seeds.
Different misos - red, brown, and yellow are the most common - taste different. In general, the darker the miso, the stronger it is. Experiment with different kinds to see which you like best.
Look for miso in the refrigerated section of a supermarket or Asian market. (Wherever you find tofu, that\'s likely where you\'ll find the miso.)
You can use chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth.
In Japan, miso soup is eaten for breakfast.